DANVILLE — The Danville Blue Devils are back in the Division IV Regionals, a place they’ve come to know well over the last decade.
Their semifinal opponent — the Strasburg-Franklin Tigers — is also a team they know well. Strasburg ended Danville’s season in 2009 on its way to winning the Division IV State title.
The Blue Devils (22-7) learned from that, however, and put together a solid regular season in 2010. They finished second in the Mid-Buckeye Conference (11-3), one game back of Northridge.
“Experience has helped a lot,” said Danville coach Maryellyn Matheny. “Between Hannah (Matheny), Kaleigh (Conner) and all of our senior leadership, it is amazing to me how the older girls have taken the younger girls under their wing. We start Darci (Lauderbaugh), who is a freshman, and Sam (McFadden), who is a sophomore, and they bring a little anxiety with them where everyone else is comfortable and knows what to expect. They’ve worked with them and practiced with them, making them stronger. I think we’ve got all the butterflies out now.”
The Tigers (22-6) are a well-built team, and much like Danville, play a tough regular-season schedule. Coming off a 4-0 win over Tuscawaras Central Catholic, which split the regular-season series with the Tigers, Strasburg has some momentum.